* Indexes down: S&P 0.4 pct, Dow 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct
(Updates market activity)
By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell Wednesday
as tepid corporate earnings gave investors little reason to buy
amid continuing concerns about the health of the global
Discounter Target Corp posted uninspiring results,
while BJ's Wholesale Club Inc missed profit estimates
and cut its full-year forecast, sending shares in both
Deere & Co earnings beat estimates, but said sales
were "far below normal levels" and pointed to deteriorating
conditions in Europe, where markets were "down sharply."
Deere fell 1.6 percent to $66.06, Target dropped 1.2
percent to $50.05, and BJ's Wholesale lost 4.6 percent to
"The earning this morning are probably neutral to the
negative in terms of impacting price," said Nick Kalivas, vice
president of financial research & senior equity index analyst
at MF Global in Chicago. "There is really no upside momentum
from the earnings perspective on balance, and we just don't
have the international dynamics here.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 54.49
points, or 0.52 percent, to 10,351.36. The Standard & Poor's
500 Indexfell 4.85 points, or 0.44 percent, to
1,087.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 4.26 points,
or 0.19 percent, to 2,205.18.
Energy shares fell as crude oil futures dropped more than 2
percent after an industry report showed a sharp increase in
U.S. petroleum inventories. Chevron Corp dropped 1.4
percent to $76.65 and Exxon Mobil Corp was off 1.8
percent to $59.75, and were the biggest drags on the Dow
Helping technology stocks, Analog Devices Inc rose
3.4 percent to $29.78 a day after the microchip maker posted a
quarterly profit that topped estimates and issued a
better-than-expected fourth-quarter outlook.
U.S.-traded shares of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc
rose 3.3 percent to $147.80 after the Canadian
fertilizer group's board rejected a $39 billion bid from BHP
Billiton Ltd , the world's largest mining
company. Potash jumped nearly 30 percent on Tuesday.
The S&P 500 index has traded around its 50-day moving
average in recent days. Stocks rallied more than 1 percent in
the last session, but the S&P 500 failed to move above the
1,100 level. The 50-day average is currently around 1,088.
Renewing concerns about an overheating economy in China,
China's banking regulator told banks in Beijing to test for the
impact of a plunge in property values below what is owed on
mortgages, a local newspaper reported.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)